Homeless shelter fears following budget cuts

Callum Jackson, a resident at Stonham Housing Association which is under threat from council cuts.
Callum Jackson, a resident at Stonham Housing Association which is under threat from council cuts.

A homeless man who is turning his life around thanks to a Mansfield facility fears that he may be forced onto the streets again because of upcoming council cuts.

Callum Jackson (31) has spent almost a year under the wing of Stonham Housing Association, which provides accommodation to rough sleepers on Nottingham Road, but with funding from Nottinghamshire County Council in jeopardy because of their £154m budget deficit, there are fears it will close.

Recovering drug addict Callum said: “We are all really concerned, there are people here who can’t get on the council’s housing list because they have a criminal record, so they’ll have nowhere to go.

“This place has helped me a lot, and I’m just about on the council list, otherwise I could be sleeping rough again.

“I’ve made a lot of progress since I’ve been here, I had no contact with my family and my son before I came here, that’s all changed now.”

Coun Muriel Weisz, who deals with adult social care at the council, said she was ‘troubled’ by the reductions proposed to homeless services.

She said: “The size of the financial challenges means we must prioritise our statutory services – those we must do – over discretionary 
services such as the quick-access homeless offender accommodation at Nottingham Road.

“I understand the concerns raised by people who use the Stonham Housing Association facility and we will be working with the organisation to explore how we can make the best of our funding and discuss other funding sources which may help support this service in the future.”

Alan Ryan, speaking on behalf of Stonham Housing Association, said: “This service provides support which sees real results in keeping down crime.

“If the service is cut we’ll make sure our clients still have somewhere to live but they will lose the support which helps them keep their lives on track.”